August 11th, 2009
05:44 PM ET

Documents detail campaign to oust U.S. Attorney

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/05/15/rove.attorneys/art.rove.gi.jpg caption="Former Bush official Karl Rove was questioned in May about the U.S. attorney firings."]

Carrie Johnson
Washington Post Staff Writer

The dismissal of New Mexico U.S. Attorney David C. Iglesias in December 2006 followed extensive communication among lawyers and political aides in the White House who hashed over complaints about his work on public corruption cases against Democrats, according to newly released e-mails and transcripts of closed-door House testimony by former Bush counsel Harriet Miers and political chief Karl Rove.

A campaign to oust Iglesias intensified after state party officials and GOP members of the congressional delegation apparently concluded he was not pursuing the cases against Democrats in a way that would help then- Rep. Heather Wilson in a tight reelection race, according to interviews and Bush White House e-mails released Tuesday by congressional investigators. The documents place the genesis of Iglesias's dismissal earlier than previously known.

The disclosures mark the end of a 2 1/2 year investigation by the House Judiciary Committee, which sued to gain access to Bush White House documents in a dispute that struck at the heart of a president's executive power. House members have reserved the right to hold a public hearing at which Rove, Miers, and other aides could appear this fall.

House Judiciary Chairman John M. Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) on Tuesday characterized the role of Bush White House figures in the firing episode as improper and inappropriate.

"Under the Bush regime, honest and well-performing US Attorneys were fired for petty patronage, political horse trading and, in the most egregious case of political abuse of the US Attorney corps - that of US Attorney Iglesias - because he refused to use his office to help Republicans win elections," Conyers said. "When Mr. Iglesias said his firing was a 'political fragging,' he was right."

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soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Terry, TX

    This is done subject.....what is with Eric Holder and Obama bringing this up again.....trying to create another distraction by digging the past admistration.....we are sick of this.

    This is Obama's administration....these are his moronic pork bills....his crappola of a heal care take over.....his solutions....his recession.....there was a peaceful transition of power. If he can't handle the job.....that group just needs to step down.....oh no...that would give us Biden. We're screwed.

    August 11, 2009 at 8:39 pm |
  2. Carol

    I agree with Melissa Why hasn't The US gov pursued corruption charges and maybe even treason charges against the EX Bush adminitation yet? He did cut out countries throat pretty good, and did a hostile take over of our government. Yeah it needs to be done.

    August 11, 2009 at 7:36 pm |
  3. Lesley Anne

    This is an excellent article and exposé on just one of the elements of the Bush administration. It underscores why other actions of that administration should also be investigated. This is the tip of the iceberg.

    August 11, 2009 at 7:17 pm |
  4. Annie Kate

    I think Bush, Rove, Cheney and the others should be tried for things they did that were wrong – these sorts of activities remind one a great deal of the activities of the Nixon administration. During the Bush administration there were times that I wondered where the Constitution had gone to – Bush and his cronies sure didn't do their utmost to "defend" the Constitution – in fact, it seemed the Constitution needed defending from them!

    August 11, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  5. Melissa

    Somehow I'm not surprised. Why hasn't the US gvt pursued corruption charges against the Bush administration yet? It needs to be done.

    August 11, 2009 at 5:48 pm |